Walmart Sweetens with Stock | God's World News

Walmart Sweetens with Stock

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    Shoppers walk the aisles at a Walmart Supercenter in Houston, Texas. The company is offering more perks to retain store managers. (AP/David J. Phillip)
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    Setal Gandhi, a department manager at a Walmart store in Secaucus, New Jersey, demonstrates how shoppers can pick up online orders near the entrance of the store. (AP/Julio Cortez)
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    John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., says that the company wants store managers to think and act like owners. (AP)
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    Workers ring up purchases at the registers inside a Walmart Supercenter in North Bergen, New Jersey. (AP/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
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    A Walmart associate stocks a shelf at a Walmart Supercenter in Houston, Texas. (AP/David J. Phillip)
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Crabby customers, long lines, shipping delays, employee scheduling, shoplifting prevention—these are just some of the headaches of running a retail store. But recent changes at Walmart headquarters could make dealing with such challenges a lot more agreeable for some managers.

It’s no secret that the retail business is difficult. And in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic, shifts in consumer spending, saving, and shopping habits have demanded new strategies. (Looking at you, Instacart and “buy online pickup in stores” options!)

All those changes mean major headaches for store managers—the folks who make schedules, balance inventory, and handle the public.

Like other retailers, Walmart wants to keep its best leaders. The company also needs to attract new ones. So the world’s largest retailer came up with ways to improve the perks given to U.S. store managers.

For starters, the discounter announced larger starting pay for store managers and a redesign of its bonus plan.

Next came the big announcement: Walmart is gifting store managers up to $20,000 in Walmart stock every year. In doing so, Walmart execs hope to emphasize profits—the money stores bring in after costs—with these leaders.

“It’s fair to say that we’re asking them to act like owners and to think like owners,” says John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S. division. “And with this announcement, they will all be owners.”

Walmart will base annual stock grants on the size of the store. Managers of sprawling supercenters will receive $20,000 in stock grants. The smallest stores will receive $10,000 in stock.

Owning a piece of the company can be very motivating! Employees work hard because if the business prospers, stocks—and their own bottom line—grow too. Ownership can also motivate workers to stay loyal, since benefitting from stocks usually requires sticking with the company for a certain length of time.

Most people tend to work harder and smarter when motivated for personal gain. God made us that way! But He wants our core motivation to be God’s glory, and then our good witness (2 Timothy 2:15) rather than riches or the praise of others.

Neil Saunders works with the research firm GlobalData. He says Walmart wants to keep its top employees from quitting and going to work for competitors like Target and Costco. But the company also hopes to offer them more reasons to make their own stores flourish.

Saunders says that in the end, “The store manager will make or break the store.”

Why? A good business plan recognizes, incentivizes, and rewards the diligent work of loyal employees.

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